- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 12, 2021

Bipartisanship isn’t merely difficult in Washington — it’s verboten, according to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

At least, that’s what they say.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene this week urged her fellow Republicans to “never, ever” vote for Democratic-sponsored legislation.

Despite those comments, Mrs. Greene sponsored a bill in May with Rep. Sanford Bishop, Georgia Democrat, that would rename a Veterans’ Affairs clinic in Columbus after a former mayor.

Renaming federal buildings is routine business on Capitol Hill and hardly a testament to bipartisanship. Nevertheless, it violates Mrs. Greene’s dictate for party purity.

Now she says that working with Democrats would “enable communists.”

“I would give anything to have bipartisanship and agreement with my Democrat colleagues across the aisle,” Mrs. Greene said on Real America’s Voice. “But, I’m sorry. I just refuse to work with socialism, and I refuse to enable communists.”

Mrs. Greene’s office did not respond to questions about how her work with Mr. Bishop violated her pledge and whether she would continue to cosponsor the building-naming bill.

Mr. Bishop’s office also did not respond to requests about her co-sponsoring the legislation.

Meanwhile, some House Democrats have drawn a line on working with any Republican who voted against the certification of the 2020 election results.

More than 140 Republicans in the House and Senate voted to object to some of the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, a day that also saw pro-Trump demonstrators riot at the U.S. Capitol to stop the certification of President Biden’s win.

Rep. Jake Auchincloss, Massachusetts Democrat, said he didn’t want to align himself with those who took such a stance.

“I don’t have the willingness to forge political partnerships with people who voted to decertify the electoral results,” Mr. Auchincloss said in February.

Rep. Brad Schneider, Illinois Democrat, said he wanted to see Republicans acknowledge Mr. Biden’s presidency before he considers working with his GOP colleagues.

“At the fundamental level, I need an affirmative statement that Joe Biden is the legitimate president of the United States and the 2020 election was an honest and fair election,” he told NBC News.

Shortly after Jan. 6, Mr. Schneider also stopped working with Rep. Paul Gosar, Arizona Republican, on a bipartisan bill to propose protections to parents who have lost a child. The two had worked on the bill since 2017.

Mr. Schneider’s office said the lawmaker is instead working with GOP Reps. French Hill of Arkansas and Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio.

Mr. Biden ran on a promise of working across the aisle and unifying the country, a vision most Americans still view as a positive initiative.

A CNN poll conducted in April found that a large percentage of voters still see bipartisanship as a positive goal.

The poll found that 87% of respondents said that attempts at working across the aisle are a good thing, including 92% of Democrats, 77% of Republicans and 90% of independents.

However, 60% of respondents said they see bipartisanship as unlikely on any upcoming legislation in the current Congress.

Only 6% of Democrats said bipartisan legislation is “very likely” to happen, compared to 7% of independents and 4% of Republicans.

Mr. Biden, who prided himself on working with his GOP counterparts during his 30-year Senate career, saw a victory this week with the Senate’s passage of the long-negotiated bipartisan infrastructure package.

The White House worked with a group of 10 Republican and Democratic senators to pass the $1 trillion package in a rare move that won the support of both parties.

The bill, which passed 69-30, received the support of 19 Republicans who joined 50 Democrats on its proposals to invest in roads, bridges, broadband, public transit, as well as green energy.

“For the Republicans who supported this bill, you showed a lot of courage,” Mr. Biden said on Tuesday. “I want to personally thank you for that, and I’ve called most of you on the phone to do just that. You have, and no doubt you will, disagree with me on many issues. But where we can agree, we should.”

Democrats next plan to ram through a $3.5 trillion package of liberal priorities. They plan to pass the package of anti-poverty, health care and climate change programs with Democratic votes alone.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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